Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 10 – Driving and Rocky Mountain National Park

After we left Salt Lake City, we drove to Junction City on Highway 80 and spent the night at Wal-Mart.  It was a little town next to Park City and was really cute.  We then headed toward home, taking Highway 40 toward Colorado. The road was one of the scenic highways, much like all the others we had been on.  ;)

 DSCF2047 DSCF2051 


We sure did this a lot, filling up with gas.  Most of the time we had to do 2 fill ups, because the pumps would stop at $100. 


Here are all the bugs that were on the front of the camper from our trip to Antelope Island.  They were a mess!   DSCF2069 


We stopped at Dinosaur National Monument, there is one park on the Utah side and one on the Colorado side.  We stopped at both of them.  The only dinosaur bones were on the Utah side in a quarry, but they had the quarry closed, so we didn’t get to see anything. DSCF2072


These petroglyphics were on the walls of a rock in the park.  We told Kasey these were aliens. 

DSCF2077  DSCF2076

There was a lot of flooding in the area.

DSCF2080 DSCF2081

This is Steamboat Springs.

DSCF2086 DSCF2083

We then drove through Rabbit Ears Pass.  There was a lot of snow on the ground.

DSCF2104 DSCF2100

This is the rabbit ears, up on the top of the mountain.  Sorry the picture isn’t very good.


The other side of the pass was really pretty, the grass was green, no snow, lots of water.


This is Grand Lake in Colorado.

DSCF2125 DSCF2128

We headed into Rocky Mountain National Park, I really didn’t want to go, I figured it was going to be like all the other National Parks we had been to, more of the same, lots of mountains.  But it was quite an adventure, we saw probably 6 moose including a mother and baby.  We saw lots of elk.  But the big thing was heading up toward the top of the peak, it started snowing, there was tons of snow all over.  It really snowed hard, the roads weren’t really slick, but they were narrow with really steep hills on the sides.  We weren’t really sure we were going to make it out of there.  The high point was 12,000 feet high.  We crossed the continental divide.  As we were leaving the park, the park ranger was closing the road going up to the mountain.  I’ll have to look up how much snow they ended up getting.

To say the least, it was quite an adventure, we started in about 6:30 and made it out by 9:00.  It was a pretty fun adventure, after we got through it!  DSCF2131

DSCF2136 DSCF2130  DSCF2132

DSCF2141 DSCF2138


DSCF2151 DSCF2148

DSCF2160 DSCF2155 DSCF2159

These pictures didn’t really turn out well, but notice all the snow on the windshield! 

DSCF2164 DSCF2163

After we left the park, we went to Estes Park to spend the night, couldn’t find a campground or a Wal-mart, so we spent the night at the local hospital parking lot.  No one bothered us. 

I had a great time on vacation but will be really happy to get home.  I got to see a lot of things, not sure what I liked the best.  The drive through Rocky Mountain was pretty cool and Salt Lake City was neat. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 9 – Wyland Wall, Temple Square and the Great Salt Lake

We stayed at Walmart last night in Richfield, Utah. I thought they were going to have a tornado, there was a storm brewing above the mountains and the wind was whipping around like crazy. The wind really blew the camper, but it didn’t last very long and everything was good.

We took a scenic route to Salt Lake City and our first stop was the Wyland Wall that was on the side of a furniture store building.

DSCF1966 DSCF1969

We then went to Temple Square. It was a little hard to find a parking spot for the camper, but found one about 8 blocks away and then walked to the square. It was a pretty amazing place. We couldn’t go in the temple, they reserve that for weddings and baptisms. They told us that they can have up to 100 weddings a day in the temple during June.

DSCF1984 DSCF1998 DSCF1981 DSCF1982

There was a lady that stopped and talked to us outside the temple, she gave us a brochure of the square and told us about all the neat things to see. There were two visitor’s center that they had at the square. Each one had different things in it.

DSCF1978 DSCF1976 DSCF1977

This is the second visitor center we went in, which focused more on the building of the temple. They had a replica of the temple in there, along with interactive monitors that told you more about each section of the temple.


This is what the inside of the temple looks like.DSCF1991

  DSCF1994 DSCF1995 DSCF1996

This was the baptism area. We at first thought it was a milking parlor or something (I know, don’t laugh) but the cows actually held up the baptism tank. I am sure there was some symbolism there, but I didn’t really catch it.


We then went up in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, which was celebrating its 100 year anniversary of being built. It was a beautiful building also. We ate lunch on the top floor.

DSCF2009 DSCF2007

We then toured the Beehive house, where Brigham Young lived with his wife, Lucy. There were tour guide who took us through the house.


DSCF2016 DSCF2011 DSCF2013

I really liked the woodwork in the house.  The beehive is the state symbol. DSCF2014

We then went to the Church Office building, which was 26 stories tall. We went up to the 26th floor where they have an observation tower. My pictures didn’t turn out so great from that.

DSCF2027 DSCF2029 

We also had a tour guide that took us up to the elevator and pointed out all the sites to us on the observation deck. There were two decks on the observation tower on each side of the building. The lady told us about some guys that they had left on the observation deck “who said they were taking pictures” and they parachuted off the top of the building. I want to look that up, can’t imagine doing that.

From there we went to Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake. We drove 7 miles on a causeway that they had built to get to Antelope Island. There wasn’t really a lot to see and they said the gnats were really bad and biting so we didn’t even bother to get out. We saw a lot of buffalos.

DSCF2046 DSCF2031 DSCF2034 DSCF2045